Members of Potatoes SA at the Bethlehem Roadshow. From the left are Santa Bronkhorst, Potatoes SA office manager in Bethlehem, Hein Oberholzer, CFO of Potatoes SA, Willie Jacobs, CEO of Potatoes SA, JF van der Merwe, chairperson of the Potatoes SA board, and Nicolaas Lourens, director for the Eastern Free State.

Potatoes SA is currently conducting a roadshow in the various potato-producing areas seeking clarity from producers on which to base their motivation for the continuation of the statutory levy. The statutory levy runs in a four-year cycle, with the current run coming to an end in 2023.

According to Potatoes SA CEO, Willie Jacobs, the purpose of the roadshows is the following:

  • To answer the question as to whether all affected parties are satisfied with the statutory levy, as well as the increase that is envisaged?
  • Obtain clear instruction from the producers on essential value-adding outcomes to achieve.
  • Utilise the data received from producers to formulate the business plan for the next levy cycle.

The roadshows held in Howick and Bethlehem, which Plaas Media attended, were characterised by critical debate and very clear views on what the road ahead should look like. In both cases, though, producers consented unanimously to the continuation of the levy as well as the proposed increase.

The proposed levy increase is from 2,210c/kg to 2,290c/kg (2022/23 period); 2,370c/kg (2023/24 period); 2,450c/kg (2024/25 period); and 2,529c/kg (2025/26 period). – Izak Hofmeyr, AgriOrbit